VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – BC’s public safety minister has taken her concerns over Coast Guard cuts to the minister in charge in Ottawa.

Shirley Bond says she told Fisheries and Oceans Minister Keith Ashfield she wants the proposed station closure re-considered. She believes there are other places to be looking for savings.

“First of all, there should have been some consultation about the impact. Secondly, public safety is the primary consideration here. Those are the kinds of decisions that we think need to be further down the list,” feels Bond.

“The argument is being made that perhaps we have more assets related to the Coast Guard than other parts of the country. My point is that rarely does BC ever feel that there’s been an overly generous reaction to the west,” she adds.

Bond understands the need for budget cuts, but suggests savings should be found at the administrative level.

She says Ashfield would not commit to keep the Kitsilano station open.

Many different groups have spoken out about the planned closure.

An emergency town hall meeting was held last week that included a panel made up of NDP Fisheries and Oceans critic Fin Donnelly, NDP Defence critic Jack Harris, Vancouver city councillor Geoff Meggs, a former coast guard captain, and the general manager of the Jericho Sailing Centre.

The meeting drew commercial fishermen, recreational boaters and even those who owe their lives to the coast guard.